Alderman Rejects Lincoln Yards Plans

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsOn Tuesday, Alderman Brian Hopkins rejected plans for the Lincoln Yards soccer stadium on Chicago’s North Side neighborhood. In a statement to the media, Ald. Hopkins said he has requested that the site of the proposed stadium be repurposed as open and recreational park space. “I have informed planning officials at Sterling Bay, the developer of the proposed Lincoln Yards project, that I am not in support of a major sports and entertainment arena within either of their two planned development districts now under consideration. I have further requested that the identified site of proposed stadium be repurposed as open and recreational park space.”

In a statement, Sterling Bay said, “Since our second public community meeting on November 29th, 2018, Sterling Bay has continued to meet with Alderman Hopkins and members of the local community to hear their thoughts on Lincoln Yards. While much of the feedback has been positive, Alderman Hopkins and residents have been very clear: they do not want a stadium. And we want to say: we heard you loud and clear. We have removed the stadium and broken up the entertainment district, allowing for assorted smaller venues throughout Lincoln Yards where all independent music operators will have the opportunity to participate.”

Concept planning on this complex intersection will be completed by end of Q2 2019. CDOT will then proceed with the design, engineering and construction phases expeditiously to help ensure this critical work is completed as soon as possible. Upon completion, the resulting congestion relief is projected to mirror the remarkable success of the reconfiguration of an equally complex intersection at Damen/Elston/Fullerton. Similar benefits were realized by the intersection redesign and bridge removal at Belmont and Western. It should be noted that both of those key traffic relief projects on Chicago’s North Side were paid for with TIF allocations.

“We are happy to see that the city and developer are responding to our concerns, but we see no change on the central issues we have raised,” said Robert Gomez, co-chair of the Chicago Independent Venue League. “We oppose the creation of multiple music venues of undisclosed sizes in this so-called city within our city. We see no indication that Live Nation or some other corporate conglomerate won’t be running or leasing music venues in Lincoln Yards, even though the alderman has said Live Nation won’t own any of the venues.”

While these recent changes to the 70 acres that comprise Lincoln Yards are intended to reflect community concerns, the process is ongoing and will continue to be refined over many years, if not decades. This entire planning effort began three years ago as part of a larger initiative to re-evaluate the 760-acre study area that includes the North Branch Framework Plan. CIVL’s position remains unchanged and encourages that the plan be put on hold until a newly elected City Council and mayor can take the time needed to vet via public scrutiny, deliberate and debate this proposal and see that it’s properly done. Recently, Alderman Ray Lopez said he would welcome the soccer stadium in his 15th ward and plans to speak with Mayor Emanuel’s representatives to see if that could be a possibility

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

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